455: HOW FAITH CAN HARM YOUR HEALTH 5: ISLAM AND SUN ON THE SKIN

“A warm welcome to Zingcreed, the one-man-band that sows dissension in the ranks by encouraging people to think for themselves! Christianity isn’t dead, but Jesus would be astonished if he came back today and saw what was being preached and practised in his name. Today’s version of this religion has few redeeming features and the world would be better off without it….and yet…The original message of this Iron Age Jew, this subversive agitator who drew down the wrath of the Empire upon his head (Yes, he squeaked and the Empire struck back!) the message endures and resonates to this day. Love, compassion, forgiveness, solidarity with the oppressed, human liberation. Anarchist ideals. What’s wrong with them? Forget the things written about him a generation after he died by people like Paul who never met him or even read the gospels. He was not the ‘Son of God’ – and never said he was. He never died for our “sins”, or even claimed he was doing that. His preachings and healings as a purveyor of Wisdom are what he must be judged on. A lot of it is incomprehensible to us today. Some of it he probably never said or did. (I personally cannot believe the miracles ever occurred.) BUT there is a residual hardcore of gold nuggets there that can help transform the world today and make it a better place.
The church is such a hindrance. There is, for instance, no church preaching Liberation Theology in Britain today.
The Christian church (and other religions) lead the way in fostering hatred of homosexuals. A gay African told me yesterday that you will be expelled from your church (and workplace and even family) if you ‘come out’ in Nigeria or Ghana. Jesus himself, of course, never mentioned the topic of homosexuality. That’s what I mean by following Jesus and not the church. A Jesusite should practise inclusivity welcoming all whatever their gender, race, age, sexual orientation etc. Zingcreed’s Manifesto advocates active solidarity with people whose human rights are being infringed, like gays in Africa. The UN is playing a leading role here. Human rights abuses are being tackled in religious ( i.e. Christian) countries like those of West Africa in particular.

Sorry to go on for so long. Today’s topic is something else entirely!

I’ve updated my computer. I’m not finding Windows 8.1 particularly easy after years of xp, so expect a few mistakes!

Look out for the London urban graffiti at the end.

In solidarity

Peter Turner, M.A., M.Sc.”

ISLAM AND SUN ON THE SKIN

Islam’s symbols are a star and a crescent moon; but I want to advocate moslems taking the sun seriously too. In my previous Post on the Hijab, I never mentioned the beneficial effects of sun on human skin, but I did consider modesty, and wondered aloud if women in some moslem countries covered their heads because it was a choice they had freely made for themselves or whether there was some hidden patriarch laying down the law.
We have an election coming up in London soon, and among those on the hustings are a moslem group telling us not to vote because “Allah is the only legislator”. A dozen or so female protestors outside the mall on saturday were clothed from head to toe in black – you couldn’t even see their eyes. It’s people like that I’m worried about, simply on medical grounds. This is not a cheap dig at an easy target. Lack of sun on the skin can affect anyone whatever their religious beliefs. It’s just that the problem can be exacerbated by covering up. If it is decreed then so be it. I’m not going to interfere. My interference would not be appreciated. I’m a biologist not a G.P.

The problems are:-

Not much sun in England, owing to high latitude, cloudy overcast skies, and the  long winter nights when it gets dark early.

People aren’t outside as much as they once were. Kids are inside “safe” playing on their computers or watching TV. It’s not even ‘safe’ to walk to school any more.

People living here with overseas origins often have pigmented skins which protect against  UV -very necessary where they come from, but the last thing you need in the UK.

Then when the sun does peep out, like it did this Easter, culture and religion dictate that some communities cover up against it. Moslem women in hijabs and burkas aren’t going to soak up much UV at all. I know from personal observation that this does not apply across the board, because many of the Kurdish and Turkish women who plant vegetables alongside me on the allotment here in North London do not cover their heads unless the sun is very hot, and then I wear a hat too!

Lack of vitamin D (which comes from the UV in sunlight) is associated with the following medical conditions:-

Rickets (being knock kneed or bow legged as the bones are lacking calcium); it’s reappearance in Britain after years of absence has been called a national disgrace;

Schizophrenia rates fall as exposure to the sun increases. Between 1965 and 1997 dark skinned immigrants in the London borough of Camberwell were 5 times more likely to develop schizophrenia than their white indigenous neighbours. In the weak northern sunlight, their high skin melanin levels blocked too much UVB;

Multiple Sclerosis  in Iran went up 8 fold when the Mullahs took over. Their veil laws and the subsequent complete cover up starting in 1989 were the cause;

Deficiency of vitamin D during pregnancy means the mother is not passing on this vital chemical to her foetus. Result? Babies  have increased rates of the 3 conditions mentioned above plus asthma and type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and coeliac disease;

A total of 18 auto-immune diseases are linked to a lack of vit. D;

13 types of cancer, including breast and bowel, are associated with cloudy weather and modern indoor lifestyles; The misguided advice of cancer charities to ”seek the shade” when the sun is shining or to slap on the sun block to cut out the UVB is partly to blame. Avoid melanoma by all means but get enough sun too: 20 minutes a day in summer in northern climes is probably enough according to Wikipedia.

The 1990s saw a 5 fold increase in autism in UK and US kids, and food allergies rose too. Some epidemiologists link this to vit. D deficiency too.

Also:

Vit D is known to switch 900 different genes on or off (others say 2000);

Vit. D deficiency affects 10% of the world’s population;

So: draw your own conclusions about the sense of covering up when the sun comes out. What is in the best interest of all of us? Ask your GP for further advice and check out my source.

Sources:
Oliver Gillie, Daily Telegraph 20/4/2014
Sunlight Robbery, Healthresearchforum.org.uk

 

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[London wall art – how did they get there?]

[455,i]

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